Fireworks For The Fourth Of July!

What does the 4th of July mean to you?   The modern day 4th July is Independence Day and one of the biggest national (or federal) holidays in the United States of America, celebrated by millions by meeting friends and family for a summer barbeque in the day and then going to see fireworks at night. The reality of the current economic recession means there are going to be far fewer or smaller displays this year.

The 4th July is an important date in the American calendar as it commemorates the declaration of independence from the United Kingdom.   Legal separation between the American colonies and Great Britain actually happened during the American Revolution, on the 2nd July 1776. After voting for independence, the Second Continental Congress voted for a Declaration of Independence which was debated and revised several times before being approved on the 4th July 1776.

The original 13 states who gained independence from the British in 1776 were a small fraction of what is now the USA. The vast majority of what is currently the United States was ruled by France and Spain (with a small area of unclaimed territory in the northwest) and these regions did not obtain independence with the defeat of the British. July 4th is actually the celebration of the birth of a nation (the coming together of the 13 independent colonies to create one unified central government which would oversee the 13 different states instead of 13 separate governments), in many ways more so than independence from Britain. However, if you asked the average American they would say July 4th is to celebrate our independence from Britain.

Time changes things and today the USA and Britain are tied together politically and economically – the value of trade in 2008 now makes Britain, its adversary in 1776, the USA’s sixth-leading trading partner.

With thanks to our US correspondents Jennifer and Wells Hero, New York, USA.

How are you celebrating The Fourth of July this year? Send us your comments and/or photos of your celebrations by completing the Speak Your Mind box below.